La Plata edges Lackey to stay per­fect

Smith lifts War­riors with win at No. 2 girls sin­gles; team now 5-0

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Lackey and La Plata went down to the lit­eral end in Mon­day’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion ten­nis match.

With the match tied at four wins apiece, the day came down to one fi­nal clash at No. 2 girls sin­gles with Lackey’s Mariel San­tos and Madi­son Smith of La Plata squar­ing off with every­one watch­ing.

Smith took the first set 6-4 and San­tos re­sponded with a 7-5 win in the sec­ond set. A see­saw battle in the third and fi­nal set saw the score knot­ted at 6 and ever ything would be de­cided in a tiebreaker.

In the tiebreaker, the La Plata se­nior went on de­feat San­tos 7-2 to win the set 7-6 as the War­riors eked out a 5-4 vic­tory over the host Charg­ers.

“Lackey has al­ways been our com­pe­ti­tion in the county and [San­tos] re­ally was a tough player,” Smith said. “I was men­tally tired later in the sec­ond set and thought I had her, but I lost that one. In the third set I just pushed my­self and was able to place my shots well.”

La Plata (5-0, 5-0 Po­tomac) avenged a 5-4 loss to the Charg­ers a sea­son ago and re­mains un­de­feated on the sea­son. It is sched­uled to take on vis­it­ing Patux­ent at 4 p.m. to­day.

“This is re­ally big, us and Lackey are usu­ally the best teams in our county. Last year they beat us 5-4, the year be­fore we beat them 5-4,” La Plata head coach Jim Dun­leavy said. “The [No. 2] girls sin­gles match was a great match. Both girls played tremen­dous and

no one gave in.”

Other the No. 2 girls sin­gles and mixed dou­bles, all

the other wins for La Plata in the matches were de­cided in straight sets. The War­riors took four of the five dou­bles matches, which was a huge dif­fer­ence in the match over­all, ac­cord­ing to Dun­leavy.

“Our dou­bles are very strong this year and we def­i­nitely had a edge on those to­day,” Dun­leavy said. “We’ve been play­ing well this year so far. We just have to keep it up. We have some

tough matches com­ing up.”

At boys No. 1 dou­bles, se­niors Justin Ryan and Wal­ter Burlack won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, over Lackey’s James Weeks and Peter Ste­wart. In the No. 2 matchup,

se­niors Alex Cat­ter­ton and Josh Hur­ley won 6-4, 6-2 over Lackey’s Tay­lor Leap­ley and Sam Guz­zone.

In No. 1 girls dou­bles, Sarah De­neault and Pree­ta­man Virk cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 vic­tory, while the No. 2 pair Grace Na and Jen­nifer Cur­tis also won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

“It was real nice for our dou­bles team to win. Last week we lost to North Point’s dou­bles team, so we bounced back to­day,” De­neault said. “Me and Pree­ta­man played very strong at the net and worked very well to­gether. It was awe­some to see Madi­son pull out that win in girls sin­gles. I’m re­ally proud of her. She did a great job.”

La Plata also earned vic­to­ries at No. 2 boys sin­gles as Joseph Na won 6-1, 6-0 over Lackey’s Lee Ab­der­rahim.

Lackey’s Ron Stith won in straight sets over Lo­gan Van Sickle in No. 1 boys sin­gles, 6-1, 6-0. In No. 1 girls sin­gles, Azuri Hughes re­mained per­fect on the sea­son with a win in straight sets over La Plata’s Michal Kat­trell, 6-0, 6-2.

“I’m try­ing to keep my win­ning streak and con­tinue to work on my tac­tics and play to win,” Hughes said. “This year I’m play­ing smarter and way bet­ter than I was the last three years and more into the game men­tally.”

Lackey (3-2, 2-1) won at mixed dou­bles as Kennedi Bow­man and DJ Nel­son edged out Jen­nifer Di­eterle in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

“To­day was real hec­tic. We knew that if our sin­gles play well, we would be in the match,” Lackey head coach Ken Grif­fith said. “We just needed some help with our boys and girls dou­bles, but at the be­gin­ning of the year we knew we had to work on that. We are get­ting bet­ter and I think we will be in the mix at the end of the sea­son.”

The Charg­ers are sched­uled to host Thomas Stone at 4 p.m. to­day.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

La Plata se­nior Madi­son Smith de­liv­ered the game-win­ning point in three sets over Lackey’s Mariel San­tos, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), lift­ing the War­riors to a 5-4 vic­tory over the Charg­ers on Mon­day.

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